France's World Cup win leads brand sponsors to victory
It was a victory that transcended France and the French people across the globe. The performance of the victorious French team, to take out the Croatian national team 4 to 2 on Sunday, July 15 in the final of the World Cup, gave rise to scenes of jubilation and joy, which lasted long into the night. Beyond the festivities and French euphoria, the game also served as a mass marketing platform for several players in fashion and sports.
While Adidas was at the heart of the World Cup final as official ball sponsor of the match and with its advertising plastered around the edges of the field, Nike was the overall the winner of football sponsorship with both France and Croatia dressed by the U.S. sports giant.
"We had great success with three of the four teams in the semifinals (France, Croatia, England) and provided 65% of all the boots on the field," said Elliott Hill, head of the division in charge of customers and markets of the American brand, in an interview with AFP.
Inking sponsorship deals in 2014, Adidas saw Germany, Spain and Argentina -- its three heads of the game -- eliminated in the first round of knockouts. Despite the sporting disappointment of its teams, the German sportswear brand announced in a June press release that it still expects sales of its football jerseys to reach 8 million across the globe, for the duration of the tournament. A higher figure than sales seen during the Brazil World Cup. Yet, with France's sponsorship deal, which lasts until 2026 and is valued at 50.5 million euros per year, Nike can expect to do much better.
Even before the game began, one luxury name was surprisingly prominent to the onlooking world. The World Cup trophy was carried onto the field in a small silver Louis Vuitton trunk. Natalia Vodianova, a muse of Louis Vuitton and the wife of Antoine Arnault, unveiled the trophy in the company of Philipp Lahm, the former capitan of the victorious German team who won the last competition.
Once the game kicked off, each of the major sports brands were served: Antoine Griezmann, ambassador to Puma (like Olivier Giroud) scored a penalty and Paul Pogba, a figure in recent campaigns for Adidas, placed a superb left foot kick into the net of Danijel Subasic, the Croatian goalkeeper.
As for Croatia, Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Perisic, the two goal scorers, were dressed in Nike shoes, much like Luka Modric, the playmaker of the checkered jersey team, who was also elected best player of the World Cup.
On the field, Nike had a particular French flair. The World Cup saw the emergence of a new football star, namely Kylian Mbappé. The young international Frenchman, who served as the x-factor of the French team during the competition and for the finals, was notably kitted out by Nike's collaborative model with Off-White.
Nike had also chosen a visual of the striker to celebrate the French team victory. Kylian Mbappé, all smiles, sported the French jersey, whose 'Coq' motif was capped with two stars. A jersey that was also donned by Simon Porte Jacquemus, with Nike offering the blue shirt to the designer ahead of the game, and was seen wearing it as he took to the Instagram account of Vogue Homme, as guest poster.
A way to communicate to the French, but also football and fashion.
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